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Britain & IrelandCountry Roads
Duration: 9 days Visiting: Scotland
Welcome to Edinburgh.
Welcome to Scotland - land of legends and romance, from the great cultural cities in the south, to the dramatic mountains and misty lochs of the Highlands. On arrival at Edinburgh airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00 and 13:00. Then the rest of the day is yours to relax before joining your Travel Director at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner with wine. On select departures, you will also attend the spectacular Military Tattoo - a colourful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh, The Capital of Culture.
Join a Local Expert to see the highlights of the city. Drive along Princes Street to the ornate Scott Memorial, then wander the 18th century New Town with its neoclassical Georgian facades. In the Old Town, visit Edinburgh Castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and Scotland’s Crown Jewels, the Honours of Scotland. At the bottom of the Royal Mile stands the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of the Queen. The rest of the day is at leisure; why not visit the art treasures in the National Gallery?
To St. Andrews and the Highland Capital of Inverness.
Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and journey to St. Andrews, passing the Old Course, home of golf since its creation in the 15th century. Enjoy free time to explore. Perhaps stroll to West Sands Beach where the famous 'Chariots of Fire' scene was filmed? Alternately, wander to St. Andrews University where the love story of Kate Middleton meeting her Prince Charming began. Cross the Tay and journey to the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon run. Continue via Blair Atholl and pass the Grampian Mountains on the way to the sparkling Spey Valley. Stop at Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens, one of the only occupied castles in Scotland, inhabited by the same family since the 16th century. As guests of the castle you will be treated to an authentic Farm-to-Table experience, in the tradition of a Scottish Tea and Scones. Continue to Inverness, where your luxury hotel is set within four acres of manicured grounds offering the very best in Highland hospitality.
Culloden, Loch Ness and on to Thurso.
See Culloden Moor in the morning, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was crushed in 1746. Visit the Culloden Visitor Centre before continuing along the shores of Loch Ness. Keep your eyes peeled for the legendary monster! Next, follow the rugged coast north to the fishing port of Wick. Pause at the Old Pulteney Distillery to taste a wee dram of whisky and learn about the production of this national drink.
A Day in the Orkney Islands.
Start the day by driving to the most northern point of the British mainland, John O’Groats. Board the ferry to the beautiful Orkney Islands where the countryside is breathtakingly majestic and the tranquility supports a quieter pace of life. Here the hardy locals say they live ‘below the wind and above the water.’ Your Local Expert accompanies you as you visit the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar, Kirkwall and the small chapel built by Italian prisoners during World War II. Return to your Thurso hotel for dinner.
Over the Sea to Skye.
Travel through stunning, pristine landscapes along the northern coast with its white sandy beaches, and further inland to misty valleys and glens, lochs and rushing waters. Then it’s ‘Over the Sea to Skye,’ the largest and most beautiful island of the Inner Hebrides. On the way to Broadford, hear romantic tales of how young Flora MacDonald helped rescue Bonnie Prince Charlie to see the dramatic Cuillin Hills.
Through the Scottish Highlands to Glencoe.
Explore this wild and beautiful island on your own, before crossing to the Kyle of Lochalsh. Stop for a photo at remote Eilean Donan Castle, which under a clear sky offers a perfect reflection in its loch. Move on to the WWII Commando Memorial where there is a fine view of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. You'll enjoy more spectacular scenery en route to the Valley of Glencoe, its dramatic peaks still echoing with the ghastly cries of massacred clansmen. In the evening, enjoy market-fresh Scottish ingredients and wine as you get together with your newfound friends for a sumptuous Celebration Dinner. Don't be surprised if, by the end of the evening, you're 'Toasting to the Lassies' or singing 'Auld Lang Syne'.
Along the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond to Glasgow.
Spend time around peaceful Loch Lomond, ‘Queen of Scottish Lochs’ according to Sir Walter Scott and the largest in Great Britain. Perhaps experience the beauty and tranquillity of the loch with an optional cruise before continuing to Glasgow? An orientation drive through the city will show you the grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo’s Cathedral. Then the rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore as you wish.
Your travels come to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Glasgow airport at 07:00 and 09:00.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. In addition to wine and dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best-loved Scottish music and songs. You'll learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!
Adult Price: GBP 60.00
This magnificent ship has hosted some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. For four royal couples, Britannia was to provide a honeymoon sanctuary before the onset of married life in the world's most photographed family. Now berthed in Leith, you are welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.
Adult Price: GBP 23.00
Enjoy a drive out of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Rosslyn, where you’ll discover the inside story about Rosslyn Chapel, famed for its associations with the Knights Templar, the Masonic movement, and more recently: 'The Da Vinci Code'.
Adult Price: GBP 18.00
Visit the much loved holiday home where the late Queen Mother spent many happy summers for nearly 50 years. Spectacularly set on the Caithness Coast with views across the Pentland Firth, Britain's most northerly castle is very much a family home and offers a rare glimpse into the relaxed Royal lifestyle away from the public eye. Your tour takes in the Queen Mother's bedroom, library, drawing room, Princess Margaret's room and kitchens. Of special interest are the greenhouses and the old fashioned shrub roses and climbers of the Shell Garden, where she loved to sit in the afternoon with her dogs.
Adult Price: GBP 20.00
A rare opportunity to enjoy an introduction to the Gaelic culture that is so unique to the Highlands. Stories, song, music and Highland history await you in the warm atmosphere of a centuries-old Highland hostelry
Adult Price: GBP 25.00
A wonderful opportunity to experience the spectacular scenery of the Trotternish Peninsula with a local expert. Hear about the way of life on this remote inner Hebridean island, steeped in myth and legend. While touring the 'Isle of Mist' see the Old Man of Storr, the red and black Cuillin Mountains and picturesque Portree, the largest town on the Island. This is an opportunity not to be missed.
Adult Price: GBP 15.00
In recent years, Glasgow has developed a fearsome culinary reputation. With its elegant and chic atmosphere, this restaurant is very much at the forefront. In the hub of Glasgow's vibrant cosmopolitan capital, enjoy an evening of Scottish fayre and experience the unique atmosphere of the city at night. This meal may be offered as a lunch.
Adult Price: GBP 37.00
Enjoy a relaxing cruise around picturesque Loch Lomond - the largest stretch of inland water to be found in the British Isles. Settle with a complimentary cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the flawless natural beauty, while all the history and legend is brought to life by on-board commentary.
Adult Price: GBP 15.00
Edinburgh (Historic) - Scotland
The boutique Malmaison Hotel Edinburgh resides within a former Seaman's Mission in the heart of Edinburgh's trendy Shore area. The hotel describes its rooms as "super-slinky," featuring plush, funky décor and furnishings. Located just 15 minutes from the heart of Edinburgh you'll be able to make the most of your free time in the happening capital of Scotland.
Inverness (Historic) - Scotland
Originally the mansion of a prominent local family, today the Kingsmills Hotel is a luxury accommodation in the heart of the Highlands. Renovated with contemporary rooms, the hotel is well-known for it's impeccable hospitality.
Thurso (Traditional) - Scotland
Centrally located in the heart of Thurso, the Peatland Hotel offers comfortable accommodation and a warm welcome from staff.
Broadford (Traditional) - Scotland
Boasting an incredible location by Broadford Bay, The Dunollie Hotel is set at the base of outstanding mountains.
Our guests rate us
11428 independent user reviews received during the past year.
12 November, 2018
Trip: The itinerary was good considering it was outside the tourist season. It was obvious once we reached places they were 'remote' and certainly was country roads coming into the winter.
Service: Would use them again but the fact that the accommodation would not be the same standard as their European tours should have been stated when the hotels were first named not just before the trip
04 November, 2018
Trip: Itinerary covered many miles and provided opportunity to see Scotland's spectacular scenery.
Service: Our Tour Guide (Mike Doughty) was the best ever and our Driver (Steve) safely transported us and supported Mike in attending to every need of those on our Country Roads of Scotland tour.
04 November, 2018
Trip: Awesome! It as all and more that I could have asked for except for one hotel room in Broadford which was smaller than a dorm room.
30 October, 2018
Trip: Packed a lot into 8 days but the itinerary was paced well. Great to see smaller towns, the highlands. Orkney was a highlight. Autumn was a lovely time to go. Even the rain and mist on some days added to the atmosphere.
Service: Excellent communication throughout tour. At every point we knew what to expect. Guide was outstanding- very knowledgeable and a gift for communicating in a way that brought history to life.
28 October, 2018
Trip: It was amazing how much countryside we covered!
Service: The Country Roads of Scotland tour was an amazing experience with the most fabulous scenery! The tour was great as I was travelling on my own and everything was covered and looked after so I didn't need to worry about a thing! The very knowledgeable, humorous and accommodating tour guide Michael made the experience perfect
25 October, 2018
Trip: We loved the places that we visited and wanted more. A sure sign that we enjoyed our trip.
Service: Any problems we had were quickly resolved. We needed 2 beds instead of one and Michael took care of this for us. We were encouraged to let Michael know if there was anything he could do for us. While we want to go back and thoroughly explore some more, we greatly appreciated Michael's local knowledge.
25 October, 2018
Trip: Everywhere we went was amazing and just so simply beautiful.
Service: Do not change a thing. We had the time of our lives and would never been able to see all what we did if we were to do it on our own. We have just returned to Australia on Monday the 22nd of Oct and would go back to Scotland in an instant if it was not on the other side of the world.
23 October, 2018
Trip: Good points of interest That's all
Service: Good guide
22 October, 2018
Trip: As I said, a little more time to see the sights and explore some of the lovely villages.
Service: Your driver and tour director were excellent and enjoyable. The sights were outstanding and the route taken certainly was covering the area greatly. The only thing was we were so short on time for lunch and breaks, usually 45 minutes to 1 hour. We visited little places that it would have been nice to have an extra time. Perhaps if there was extra day added in to give more flexibility some of the time it would have been appreciated. The Gaelic night was really outstanding.
21 October, 2018
Trip: Loved the Highlands and Islands.
Service: Loved the room on the bus.
21 October, 2018
Trip: Good information and organisation. Great scenery. Enjoyed Orkneys.
Service: Good & timely information, organisation & service. Would recommend & travel again.
17 October, 2018
Trip: We saw pretty much what we wanted to see. The Royal Yacht Britannia was listed as an optional experience for twice the price it cost to go on our own and it was only three blocks from the hotel.
Service: We received everything we needed for the tour.